A Muslim court has fined a 41-year-old man for marrying an 11-year-old girl because he didn’t ask for permission – but he has been allowed to keep his child bride. Che Abdul Karim Che Hamid reportedly married the child without the approval of the syariah (sharia) court or his current two spouses.

The marriage to the girl prompted international fury at the start of the month when a photo of Che Abdul Karim holding hands with the girl after the nuptials was shared on social media.

In a deleted post Che Abdul’s second wife Effa Zulkifle wrote “congratulations on your wedding, my husband 41, and his other wife, 11”, local media said.

Then the wealthy scrap rubber dealer told the Borneo Post : “I was disappointed with various criticisms and allegations made against me in the social media after I took her as my third wife.”

Che Abdul Karim pleaded guilty at the Gua Musang syariah court in north-western Malaysia and was fined 900 Malaysian ringgits (RN) or £170 for each charge.

His new bride’s impoverished parents previously said they agreed to the marriage on the proviso that she lived with them until she was 16, according to local media.

A condition Che Abdul Karim said he intended to keep to, adding he would not get a wedding certificate until she reached that age.

Local media said the couple were married by an imam in the Thai border town of Sungai Golok in June.

The bridegroom already has two wives and six children aged between five and 18.

The 41-year-old was charged with solemnising a marriage and polygamy without obtaining the syariah court’s permission.

The minimum legal age for marriage in Malaysia under civil law is 18.

However, girls can marry at 16 with the permission of their state’s chief minister, while Islamic law sets a 16-year minimum age for girls and allows even earlier marriages with the permission of the sharia court.


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